Beyond the Sixth — A Chequered Journey — 5


Mystical experiences

Mystical experiences have been reported to be occurring to people since ages. We will see some instances:

Richard Church, British poet (1893-1972)

While young, Church had a mystical experience at a convalescent home, which he recounted in his autobiography, Over the Bridge, and which was also recounted by the British occultist writer Colin Wilson. Looking out of some French windows, Church saw a gardener chopping down a dead tree. What struck Church after a while was that the sight of the axe hitting the tree and the sound of the axe hitting the tree were not synchronised. The sound was delayed. At first he did not believe his own powers of perception, but after concentrating his vision and hearing, he came to the conclusion that he was experiencing an error in the laws of physics. He came to the conclusion – which would remain with him for the rest of his life – that “time and space are not absolute. Their power was not law.” He experienced an incredible freedom in this epiphany. “(…) I was free. Since time and space were deceivers, openly contradicting each other, and at best offering a compromise in place of law”. After this epiphany another soon followed. From where he stood he sensed that “(…) my limbs and trunk were lighter than they seemed, and that I had only to reduce them by an act of will, perhaps by a mere change of physical mechanics, to command them off the ground, out of the tyranny of gravitation”. He then left the ground and glided “about the room” some twelve or eighteen inches above the floor. He returned to the ground only to take off once more. (Wikipedia)

The occultist writer Colin Wilson tells that the ‘mood’ simply triggered some unknown power that we all possess, just as Richard Church’s mood of exaltation somehow showed him how to float off the ground.

Flying Monk Joseph of Copertino

It is a well-authenticated case, the flying monk whose feats of levitation were witnessed by dozens of famous men of learning, including the philosopher Leibniz. Born in Italy in 1603, he was sick subject to sudden moods of ecstasy. Dissatisfied with the sheer weight of the flesh he had to carry around, he mortified it with fasting and flagellation. He became a priest at 25. One day, when he was saying mass in his own church of St Gregory of Armenia, he uttered a cry and, in the upright position, flew with his hands outstretched to the cross above the altar. The nuns who were present thought he would catch fire on the candles, but moments later he flew back down into the church and began to dance and sing as he chanted the name of the Virgin. Later, when seeing the pope, he was again seized with ecstasy and rose into the air. And he continued to do so for the remainder of his life (he lived to be 60) witnessed by hundreds of people. (Source: Colin Wilson – The Mammoth Book of the Supernatural, Magbie Books Ltd, 1994)

He said “I’ll appear before you later this evening” and he did:

In the late 1920s, the novelist john Cowper Powys had spent one evening dining with the great American writer Theodore Dreiser. Powys suddenly looked at his watch: “I must hurry.” But as he left the apartment he remarked: “I’ll appear before you later this evening.” Then he rushed to catch his train to upstate New York. Dreiser assumed the comment was a joke. But two hours later, as he sat reading, he looked up and found Powys standing by the door. He stood up, saying: “John, come in and tell me how you did it.” At that moment, Powys vanished. Dreiser rushed to the telephone and rang Powys’s home. Powys answered, and when Drier told him what had happened, replied: “I told you I’d be there.” Dreiser adds that Powys later declined to discuss how he had done it. Colin Wilson feels that it may not be because Powys wanted to be secretive, maybe just he did not know. He probably ‘felt it coming on’ during the evening, an odd state of mind which he recognised as he ability to ‘project’ himself. (Colin Wilson, ibid)

Emilie Sagee lost 18 jobs in 16 years due to this:

The attractive french schoolmistress had a peculiar habit of being in two places at once. The way she lost her 18th job was typical. In 1845 she was a teacher at a school for young ladies at Neuwelcke, near Wolmar, on the shores of the Baltic. One day as she was writing on the blackboard, a second Emilie appeared standing beside her. As she turned to see what the pupils were murmuring about, her ‘double’ vanished. On another occasion, she was on her knees beside a girl called Antoinette von Wrangel, pinning her dress, and as the girl looked in the wardrobe mirror, she saw two Emilies, and fainted.

The last straw was when another teacher had left her pupils alone for five minutes. Suddenly, they were astonished to see Emilie seated in the teacher’s chair. Stranger still, there was another Emilie out in he garden. Two of the bolder pupils tried to touch the apparition, and said it felt like muslin. One of them even walked through her. Then the apparition vanished, although another Emilie could still be seen in the garden. Later, a friendly pupil asked Emilie what had happened. She explained that she had looked into the classroom through the garden window, seen that the teacher was absent, and felt worried that the girls would misbehave. It seems that, in some strange way, her worry had projected her ‘double’ into the room.

When parents heard these stories they began withdrawing their children from school, and Emilie was sacked. She then went to live with her sister-in-law, and everyone in the family got used to seeing her double wandering around the house. But the strain seems to have been too much for her; one day she left the house and vanished, never to be seen again. The likeliest explanation is that she drowned herself. (Colin Wilson, ibid)

The quest continues…



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